Something about us. We — meaning most human beings — revel in and enjoy situations.
It’s easy to say: The team won the game.
It’s so much more satisfying to say (and hear): It was the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the bases loaded. The game was tied at 2 apiece and the batter battled to a full count. Then came the pitch…
You sit on the edge of your seat, leaning in to watch the game (whether in person or on television doesn’t matter). If you like sports, your heart rate has probably increased and you cannot wait to see what happens next. If you’re cheering for one of the teams in particular, you may even be yelling out cheers and encouragement.
It’s never the same to simply hear the score after the game.
The idea of savoring situations goes far beyond sports, though. How often do we all hear the phrase “live in the moment” or “be present.” Experts advocate that mindset for a number of reasons. Many believe that by focusing on what is happening around you, the opportunity to appreciate the situation increases.
Another commonly used phrase, “each moment is a gift,” sums it up. None of us know how much time we have here with each other, so taking the time to soak it in and appreciate it matters.
Others say taking time to stress about the past or the future is pointless. You have no control over either. I struggle with this reasoning. Of course you can’t change the past; and I may not control the future, but I certainly can influence it with my own actions. If I work hard, strive to be a good person and help others, I believe I will be more successful in the future than if I sit on my couch and watch NCAA softball for the next three weeks (no matter how appealing that idea is to me).
I’ve also heard people say that by focusing on the present, you limit your disappointment in unmet expectations. For a planner, like me, that’s nearly impossible. I like to plan. I go to bed planning my next day — even when I know the plans are likely to get off track. I’d much rather have a plan than head into a day not knowing what to do next. Something about plans relieve my stress. I’m rarely disappointed when plans go awry; I understand that’s more common than not.
As we head into the summer, I hope you’re surrounded by situations to savor. I don’t really care why you enjoy the various situations you may find yourself in, but I do hope you take the time to soak it all in and to do more than give the score to those who ask after your well-being.